#1 How long has the eavestrough company been in business?
2. Are they a local company?
Local businesses are not going anywhere. The owners and workers tend to take more pride in the work they do when it will be seen all over the town or city they reside in. Their name and reputation is important to them, as their name is tied to the company. Establishing themselves in the community they service helps to stimulate business and maintain a competitive edge. When you hire a local business this increases the likelihood that you will receive great customer service and that they will still be around to honour your warranty for years to come.
#3 Is the company fully insured with liability insurance and in good standing with WSIB?
It is important to to make sure that the company you choose to hire is fully insured with the proper amount of liability and property damage insurance. Most importantly they also need registered with WSIB (Workers Safety & Insurance Board). Installing eavestrough systems and related products does carry an element of risk so make sure that you, the homeowner are protected. Making sure that the company you choose for eavestrough/exterior services is fully and properly insured, is one step to making sure that you will be involved with a legal and professional company.
#4 Does the company specialize in eavestrough?
Look for a company that specializes in the eavestrough industry and not a roofing company that is just trying to make some extra money. This will help ensure that you will get the quality and workmanship that you deserve. Does the company install hand mitered corners rather than the cheaper and less reliable boxed corners? This is really important to ask as it will reduce future leaks on your property, when installed by skilled installers. A company that focuses on just one area of the home improvement industry will be able to provide a more specialized service and superior quality so that you don’t get a band-aid solution that needs to be fixed again the following year. It only makes sense that a company who specializes in eavestrough systems will be able to give a superior job due to specialized equipment and training. Be careful of companies offering a variety of services when choosing your eavestrough service company. Quality of installation makes a big difference for your home.
# 5 Do they sub-contract out their work to other companies?
Ideally, you want to have the company that you hire be the company that actually installs the work. It is a challenge to manage the quality of an outside company. Sub-contractors may not follow the same safety precautions, installation standards, and quality procedures that the company you hired does and they may not offer the same warranty and reputation of installers. As a result, the home owner may not be receive the quality and service that they deserve. Sub-contractors are usually required to arrive at the job in unmarked vehicles or slap on a temporary magnetic sign to their vehicles.
#6 Does the eavestrough company have a great reputation with supporting reviews?
The eavestrough company you hire should be able to provide you with a list of references upon your request. You should be able to go online and find ample positive reviews supporting they work. The internet is definately your friend when it comes to ensuring that you don’t hire a fly-by-night company that isn’t going to give you the quality and customer service you deserve. Be sure that the company you choose offers a strong workmanship warranty. Many companies advertise that they have a warranty, but be sure that it is a workmanship warranty and not just a manufacturer’s warranty. A lot of companies also may offer a workmanship warranty, though it may be a very weak one. Choose a company that is so confident in the skills of their professional eavestrough installers to give a quality job that is problem free for decades to come. You want to work with a company that will return your phone call even after they’ve been paid!
#7 Does the company use quality eavestrough materials?
Be sure that the company you hire is using quality eavestrough materials. Be aware that some companies who value saving a few dollars over providing high quality work, may resort to using a thinner gauge eavestrough and smaller downspipes. These thin gauge materials are on the market to supply the very competitive new housing market with cheap materials where quality work is not always important. If you want your eavestoughs to last for years to come, than materials are important.
#8 How does the company pay their installers?
Many eavestough companies out there pay their installers by the foot or by the piece, rather than by by the hour. This means that their installers will make more money the quicker they work on your home. If they can complete 5 homes in a day then they will have a bigger paycheck. Obviously this can negatively affect the quality and workmanship you receive, as well as the safety of these installers.
#9 Do they provide professional estimates and invoices?
Many companies provide an estimate on a piece of paper, or just verbally. They may make up the price on the spot, possibly based on the car that you drive, in hopes to get of getting the most money out of you. A reputable company will provide an itemized estimate which breaks down the pricing per products/services. You should be able to find out generally what they charge a linear foot on an average home, so you can know that you aren’t being overcharged compared to the next person. The company you choose should provide you with these important documents.
#10 Do they provide you with a detailed estimate that gives you full overview of the work to be performed?
You want to make sure that work that you agree to is the work that is performed. A reputable eavestrough company will give you an overview of the planned work such as: which services are being performed/installed, the agreed upon color, whether removal of old product is included in the price, etc.
Bonus Question! -What size of eavestroughs do they install?
Back in the day, most homes came with a standard eavestrough size. In today’s marketplace there are many different styles of roofs and consequently different types and sizes of eavestroughs. You want to ensure to ask the options available. If you live in a location with heavy rains, have a steel roof or a commercial property then it is likely you have may require a higher capacity eavestrough system. Make sure your contractor has the expertise and materials.